Azerbaijan – Land Of Flames and Mud Volcanoes

Dr Professor Adil Aliyev, the leading specialist on mud volcanism in the country, the head of the section of "Mud volcanism" at the Geology Institute of the Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences (GIA) says most of them are in the active phase.

The height of some of these marvels of nature is 400 meters in Azerbaijan. Interestingly, 21 percent of volcanoes located on land produce oil. There also exist inactive, buried, submarine, island mud volcanoes in this country. For all these peculiarities, Azerbaijan – land of flames – is named "country of mud volcanoes".

Mud volcanoes play great role for science. Geologists explore deep layers of the Earth, the deep geological settings, geochemical processes, mineral deposits, especially oil accumulation in depth as learning this sort of volcanoes. There are dense connections between mud volcanoes and oil structures. In other words, mud volcanoes are natural exploratory wells created without any capital expenditure. These wells are the most suitable objects of research for estimating oil and gas potential of the areas where volcanoes are spread. These volcanoes gives matchless information on mineral resources. Generally, mud volcanoes are uncommon, sporadic and amazing phenomenon of nature.

There is a tight bond between mud volcanism and seismology, earthquakes. As a result of the researches in Azerbaijan it was revealed that mud volcanoes become more active in pre-earthquake period. Amount of some components in gaseous fluids overflowing from mud volcanoes grows strongly. I mean helium and carbon dioxide content of gas, boron and in some cases chloride and sulphate content of volcanic fluids. But, it must be noted that eruptions mainly occur after powerful earthquake.

At the moment the activity level of Azerbaijan’s mud volcanoes is too high. Formerly, there took place 3-4 eruptions a year. But in the XXI century this ordinary rule disordered. So, altogether 17 eruptions happened on the land are producing sea in 2001. The activity reduced a little in 2000-2003. Afterwards tensity term began again. So, there were 6 eruptions only in 2004. But within this year happened 3 eruptions. Adil Aliyev notes that, more eruptions are expected in near years. Let me note that, more eruptions are expeced for future. Increased human activities is one of the causes of such geology condition. It is too dangerous to run building, construction and excavation actions around mud volcanoes.  Such processes are motivates eruptions. There were such facts in Azerbaijan before. In general mud volcanoes are dangerous for human life.

The elevation of activity caused an innovation in science. It helps researchers to learn mud volcanoes profoundly and to say forecasting conception about future eruptions.
Further more, mud volcanoes are also useful for construction. So, volcanic breccia’s own is a mineral pl. But volcanic clay is profitable rude ceramic material. It is used widely at construction, especially at brick production. Volcanic water consists of boron, bromine and iodine, but breccia is fertile with a lot of essential microelements – boron, manganese, lithium and other minerals.

Volcano’s mud assumes great importance in medicine too. Various diseases – stomachal, intestinal, nervous, gynecology, urological, rheumatic fever, radiculitis, cosmetology and quinsy may be treated by means of such muds.

Mud volcanism is one of the main directions in foreign relations of the GIA. A lot of researches, seminars in Baku are realized in the frame of international, joint projects every year under the leadership of academic Akif Alizadeh, director of the GIA. Alian geologists spend many capitals for discovering mud volcanoes of Azerbaijan.

In general, foreign scientists in various directions of science certainly concern mud volcanoes of Azerbaijan and visit them when they were guest of the country. That is why world geologists call Azerbaijan as well as "natural laboratory".

Said HUSEYNOV, from Baku, Azerbaijan

2 thoughts on “Azerbaijan – Land Of Flames and Mud Volcanoes”

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